Delinquent Housing Costs

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The annual cost of housing a juvenile delinquent at the state's Ethan Allen School could top $90,000 after an expected rise of 25 percent this year. An administrator blames it in part on a declining number of teens at the institution that raises the amount per inmate.

Milwaukee County sends a majority of its young offenders to Ethan Allen, which is located in the town of Delafield. The county could be headed for a deficit of more than $2.5 million in its juvenile corrections budget by the year's end.

Kathy Malone of the county Department of Health and Human Services says officials have spent many meetings trying to determine why the costs are going so high.

Silvia Jackson of the state Division of Juvenile Corrections says the number of boys held at Ethan Allen dropped last month to 288. But that means fixed costs like heat and utilities are spread among fewer people.

She also notes that Ethan Allen has a full-year school, plus social workers and psychologists. She contends counties and the state are getting a tremendous value from Ethan Alle

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